One lift for the rest of my life
A regular feature in Fall Line magazine has been “One lift for the rest of my life”. As the title suggests the interviewee, usually some pro freerider, eulogises over their favourite lift and it has always got me wondering what lift I would choose if I was ever asked the question. In the absence of becoming a pro freerider I must resort to my own blog to see my answer in print.
The lift I would choose is the Gotschna, the cable car going up the mountain from the middle of Klosters. The best runs are the ones that go straight back down to Klosters and the mentality of many skiers who feel it is somehow wrong to go back down to the village before the end of the day means these runs are often overlooked. A shame (for them!) as these runs offer some of the best skiing in the Alps.
For those who like a challenge there is the notorious Wang, a huge steep slope under the second section of the cable car. Also straight off the top is the Drostobel with its gullies, open slopes and wonderful tree skiing. Following the ‘Hochroute’ traverse on the Klosters run you can drop off onto the Fleming, Schatfald or Chalbersaas, stunning north slopes which take you down into yet more trees. The Blikis (steep glades) in the Chalbersaas woods will test even the most accomplished skier. A lovely alternative on the lower half of these runs is, rather than take the home run back to Klosters, to carry on over meadows and through trees to the spa hotel at Serneus Bad.
But the skiing from the Gotschna can be very mellow too. There are wonderful south facing slopes which again take you all the way down the valley, this time to the little village of Laret. On a snowy day the Schwarzeealp woods offer respite from stormy conditions higher up, with goggles mandatory for the amount of powder that kicks up into your face as you turn. Also in bad weather you can re-visit the northern slopes and head lower down the valley and ski the pristine meadows down to the villages of Saas or Serneus.
If you want me during winter, you will normally find me on the Gotschna.